Sunday 17 December 2017

Garda Commissioner 'not aware' of car park meeting between Fianna Fáil TD and predecessor Martin Callinan

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan
Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan
Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan Photo: Caroline Quinn
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

GARDA Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan has said she was not aware of a private meeting between Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness and her predecessor Martin Callinan.

Mr McGuinness - the former chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) last week told the Dáil that the meeting took place in January 2014, around the time that Mr Callinan told TDs that he personally viewed two whistleblowers' actions as "disgusting".

The Carlow-Kilkenny TD claimed that Mr Callinan warned him in a private meeting in a car park that whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe "was not to be trusted".

Sgt. McCabe's allegations about Garda malpractice were later investigated by the O'Higgins Commission which found that he had raised “legitimate concerns” and “performed a genuine public service”.

A Garda spokesman released a statement on the meeting this evening.

"Commissioner O’Sullivan was not aware of any private meeting between former Commissioner Callinan and Deputy McGuinness as outlined by Deputy McGuinness in the Dáil," he said.

"In relation to whistleblowers, Commissioner O’Sullivan has consistently stated that dissent is not disloyalty and as a service we are determined to learn from our experiences. An Garda Síochána agrees that whistleblowers are part of the solution to the problems facing the service," he added.

"The Commissioner has recently appointed a Protected Disclosures Manager and an appropriately trained dedicated team will be established to oversee all matters related to whistleblowers.

"Transparency Ireland has agreed to work with An Garda Síochána to help ensure protected disclosures and people making them are welcomed and protected in An Garda Síochána," the statement continued.

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